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Google - China Situation Has State & Local Implications

The world-wide media was full of stories this week regarding the Google situation in China. Articles ranged from the Global Implications of Google's ...

by / January 17, 2010

The world-wide media was full of stories this week regarding the Google situation in China. Articles ranged from the Global Implications of Google's Stand to a new perspective on Global Net Intrigue. There is no denying that this is a potential Internet game-changer in many ways that go way beyond just security and hacking challenges we all face over the next decade.

 But I"d like to point out a few related issues that may not be immediately evident. For example, what implications might this announcement have for cloud computing and/or Offshore Outsourcing?

I found it very interesting that Google immediately defended cloud computing after the attacks. This defense seemed almost too quick. Check out this quote:

 "(Google Chief Legal Officer David) Drummond said the attack on Google's corporate infrastructure resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google, though he declined to specify what the hackers stole. 

However, he also said the accounts of dozens of Gmail users in the U.S., Europe and China who are advocates of human rights in China were routinely accessed by third parties. Drummond stressed that these accounts were compromised through phishing scams or malware, not through holes in Google's computing infrastructure. This is a key point.

Google's hosts data from search, Gmail and other collaboration programs that comprise Google Apps for millions of consumers on thousands of servers in data centers all over the world as part of a cloud computing model. When a Google user triggers a request from his or her computer, it speeds to these servers, looking for a response."

 The article goes on to quote Drummand as he defended the Google security controls as well as cloud computing as a whole. And yet, it seems to me that his answers may be too narrow. A wider question remains around the laws, practices and policies of global governments.

 That is, what if a law in another country changes or conflict with a cloud company's policies and procedures. Or, what if laws are not enforced or followed? Might a major investment be lost? What legal recourse will a company or local or state government have if a nation state decides to not play by their own rules?

It seems to me that this China situation has huge implications for cloud computing globally and locally for states. Put in another way, how does the legal framework of a country impact cloud computing?

 I heard a lecture once by a defense expert who said something to the effect that intentions can change overnight, but capabilities take many years to deploy. He was speaking about aircraft carriers and tanks, but I think that same quote applies to cloud infrastructure overseas - as we have just witnessed in China.

What are your thoughts on this topic? 





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Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso

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